Real de Catorce
In the southwestern United States, ghost towns are fairly common in states like Arizona, Colorado, and California. The towns were once huge mining communities, and once the materials were gone, the towns were deserted too.
In Mexico, just north of San Luis Potosi, and south of Monterrey, lies Real Catorce. A once-great silver mining town that is now a tourist town and… a ghost town. To add to the mystique, Real de Catorce can only be reached via a dimly lit one way tunnel that is 1.5 miles long.
Every year on October 4th (St. Francis of Assisi day), religious pilgrims flock to the Parish of Immaculate Conception on to express their gratitude for favors granted. Many moviegoers would recognize this location, as it has been the setting of many major films, such as The Mexican and Bandidas.
Real De Catorce was officially founded in 1779, after many years of silver miners coming through the area.
The town had it’s own minting house to avoid the possibility of bandits, and the building still stands today. The golden age for the town was in the late 19th century, when it had a population of 15,000, and some of Mexico's richest silver mines. When the price of silver plummeted after 1900, people left, and only a few people remained in this ghost town.
Today, the town’s main income comes from tourism. It is not a vacation destination like Cancun or Mexico City but a little getaway from the daily hubbub. Many tourists come to Real for the areas surrounding the town. The Huichol Indians* are the indigenous tribe of the area, and are known to walk to the Catorce valley to leave religious offerings. It is known that they use peyote for spiritual connections, and many tourists come to Catorce to seek that spiritual connection.
*refer to themselves as Wixáritari ("the people")
More of Jessica’s Blogs:
"Taxco Silver" "La Virgen de Guadalupe Defendiendo Chicano Rights" "El Dia de Los Muertos"
"Cesar Chavez" "Aztec Death Rituals" "Baja Cave Paintings"
"Indigenous Body Art" "La Malinche" "Mexico & WWII"
"Jose Guadalupe Posada" "Tequila" "History of Chocolate in the New World"
"Calvario" "Mariachi Music" "Cenotes"
"La Catrina" "What was Mexico Like?" "Cinco de Mayo"
"Judaism and Mexico" "Maya 2012 Revealed: Demystifying the Prophecy" "La Llorona"
"Dia de La Virgen de Guadalupe" "Celebración de la Noche de Año Nuevo" "Tres Reyes Magos"
"Dia de Amor y Amistad" "The Royal Lady"